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The Truth about Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:00pm

“Pit Bull.” There is no other breed of dog—or arguably, any other animal at all—whose mere mention can elicit such strong opinions. Try a word-associate game with your friends: Ask them what they think of when you say “Pit Bull.” Chances are that by the numbers, their responses will be more negative than positive. And it’s no wonder: No other type of dog is as widely banned from housing, legislated against, or incorrectly vilified by the media.

How did we get here?
Pit Bulls were once widely considered ideal family pets—affectionate, loyal and gentle with children. But in recent years, these dogs have suffered tremendously from a combination of overbreeding, bad publicity and irresponsible owners. In reality, the overwhelming majority of Pits and Pit mixes are sweet goofballs who have gotten a very bad rap.

Learn the truth.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day, on October 27, is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about Pit Bulls and their responsible owners. Please take a moment to learn the truth about these wonderful dogs and consider rescuing one of them from a shelter.

Are you a proud Pit Bull parent? Please participate in National Pit Bull Awareness Day, and help us dispel the myths about these dogs by leaving a comment below about your wonderful pooch.

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P Million

She is a beautiful young lady that found us during the flood in May 2010. She was wet and lonely and came on our porch to get out of the rain the land was soggy and she was muddy and hungry. We feed her and took her in that night and then left her out the next day so that if she wanted to go home she could. She choose to stay and is a wonderful loving creature. She does her nails to perfection everyday and they never have to be clipped she has Hazel eyes and this is what I named her. We have 5 other dogs and the all love to play. The others are Husky mix, and great dane, bull mastiff/boxer mix, a yorkie and a silkie. All wonderfull fuzzy people.

Susan

"ASPCA" Please take the negative posters off this blog. I thought we were to post about our own wonderful PitBulls, instead we have these nasty negative people Demeaning our dogs!

Lisa

I am not in support of this article. I think it is very harmful, deceptive and dangerous. Although some Pitt Bulls can make good pets, the facts (according to Wikipedia) are that Pitt Bulls and Pitt Bull mixes have cause more fatal dog attacks (18) in 2012 than any other breed. Between 2005 and 2012 there were 109 fatal dog attacks caused by Pitt Bulls. Some of these victims were infants and toddlers. Sadly, these are the facts.

Is it sad that Pitt Bulls fill up the shelters? Yes. Is it sad that many of them will be destroyed? Yes. But to advocate that they should be adopted by families with children is simply irresponsible. When a large, reputable organization such as yourself, gives their stamp of approval on something, you’d better be right. In this case it seems that you are ignoring the facts. It is very disappointing. Doesn’t it beg the question why all these animals were surrendered? Could it be because they have chased down and bitten a child or person? I will unsubscribe from any further posts, mailings or donations, if you do not rectify this immediately. I will not support an organization that misleads the public with such a possible disastrous outcome.

Kara

My boyfriend and have recently become "parents" of a blue nose pitbull. Her name is Ninja and is just beautiful :) When my mom found out we now have a pit bull her reaction was as expected. His Dad is also not so excited about the breed. it really is a shame how mislead people are about pit bulls. My dog Ninja is the sweetest dog you'll ever meet! She wants nothing but to love you. She is so much like an actual human I always forget that she isn't. We love our puppy and if more people would stop and just play with a pit bull maybe their feelings will change.

Ashley Threadingham

I rescued Monkey, a stray pit bull, two years ago after he wandered into my yard. I was fearful of him at first, not because of his breed, but because he was an unknown dog and I wanted to be cautious. He was so frightened, hungry/thirsty, and was absolutely starved for affection, so I slowly sat down next to him. He immediately crawled into my lap and allowed me to pick 300+ ticks from his little body. It was evident when I would pick off a painful one, but rather than show any sign of aggression or try to get away, he would simply sigh, breathe heavily, and wag his tail. The next day we took him to the vet, where we learned he was malnourished, severely dehydrated, and was heart-worm positive. We had no choice but to help him, and since that time two years ago, he has fit in wonderfully with my boyfriend and I. He even gets along with my grouchy chihuahua who doesn't seem to like anyone. We estimate Monkey to be about 4 years old, so he was 2 when we found him. For a dog to come into our home that has an unknown background/upbringing, makes it even more evident to me that pit bulls are inherently kind, and it isn't solely dependent on how they are raised. Dogs in general are good- the ones that aren't are the exception, not the norm. The same is true for pit bulls. I have no idea what happened to Monkey in his previous life, but he is fearful of certain things, and he had obviously been on his own for a while. Today, he is the perfect dog. With basic training, patience, and lots of love, Monkey is a great member of society. Pit bulls are not all bad, nor is any breed in it's entirety. I work with a rescue (Triangle Pets Alive) and it saddens me to see so many beautiful, well behaved, and loyal pit bulls being euthanized, simply because of the negative reputation associated with them. They are wonderful companions and live to please you- they are also the best cuddlebugs and need to be touching you constantly, which is something I love. Don't judge a pit bull until you meet one- more often than not, you will realize how lovable and sweet natured they truly are. :)

Justin

My friendly neighbors had a very nice pitbull.

A former neighbor (ex-convict) sneaked onto their property near their leashed pitbull when they were away. I couldn't see him with the dog, but heard sounds "ouch f**k" etc., acting like he was bitten (the dog made no sound). His acting job was bad...

Then he walks back to him house, picks up a contractor-grade HAMMER and walks up and hits the dog in the face. I heard the dog yelp. The guy drives off. I go so see the dog, and there was blood on its mouth and nose.

Then the family comes back and sees the dog. Then the abuser pulls back into his house behind theirs, screaming and threatning to shoot their dog, scaring their young daughter to tears.

I called the Police. The guy told the Police that his arm was injured by a transmission falling on it, but obviously was trying to make it look like it was a dog bite for a lawsuit. So I though the Police were helping the situation...

A few months later, and dog somehow got out of the owners' house. I heard gunshots, and went to see. The dog was bleeding and running from the Police, trying to jump back into the house. They kept firing, at least 7-8 shots over a period of at least 5 minutes. I asked a Police Officer what was going-on and he said "the dog bit one of your neighbors so we killed him", even though the bite was fake. There was no bite, it was a transmission.

The dog's owner is suing the Police. Neighbors who witnessed the shooting all had the same consistent story, some spoke to the TV News. The Police called us all liars and said they only shot the dog twice, and only from the road. These are people I never met before, who all came forward with a story which totally contradicts that of our city Police.

Also, this house is less than a block from an elementary school. The Police should have used pepper spray foam, or asked me for help. I've watched this dog when he was loose once before. He just sat on my porch and didn't try to bite anyone.

We have the worst city Police in the USA, and I doubt you could find worse in Mexico.

Colleen

I had 2 American Staffordshire terriers, aka Pitbulls, and they were sweetest, smoochiest, lap-doggiest, bed-hoggiest, funniest, most precious babies ever. They were named the "Licky dogs" by my friend's children. Cheers to Pitbulls.

The love of my life, one full pit and three part pit's. All rescue from Lamancha Animal Rescue in Unionville, PA. They are tight and a loving pack, they love everyone and everything. Just like children, it's all about how you raise them and the time you devote to them in the form of love.

susan ehrenberg

I have owned a pit bull that was a rescue from Harlem, NY and never was there a kinder safer dog!!! Having said that and agreeing that there are MANY wonderful pit bulls out there. I have also seen a large number of pitbulls that strike fear in my heart. Unfortunately, there are a number of people using them and breeding them irresponsibly and to ignore this would put people in danger and is just as irresponsible as saying that they are all dangerous. Unfortunely with "no kill" shelters dogs that should be put down are not and this results in good dogs losing the possiblity of having a good home. Unfortunely you can't legislate common sense.

Cindy Opperman

My husband and I rescued our first pit in February of 2011. Her name is Sophia Marie (Sophie) and she is primarily a Staffordshire and was about 1 ½ years old. She had been at the local shelter for 2 1/2 months and luckily a grant through the local SPCA had kept her alive. My husband fell in love with her photo online and we headed in to meet her knowing full well she would be ours. At the shelter we learned she was a mouther and a jumper. It took a little while but she we got her to stop her bad habits but it was clear she had been played with using long sleeved shirts and so sweatshirts took some time. She had clearly lived in a home with a man and a woman and she was my shadow. She was scared of my husband at first and of any man that came to the house. She would hide from flashlights and ran from me when I pulled out a roll of wrapping paper. It took her a few months to realize that her new dad and grandpas were not going to hurt her and even more to calm her around anything that looked like a stick or pipe. What a horrible life she must have had prior to meeting us. The fact that the shelter was the nicest/safest place she had lived was heartbreaking. After nine months and clearly seeing her blossom into one of the sweetest dogs I've known we decided that she really needed a buddy to play with. Down to the shelter we headed and as an early Christmas present we got Sophie a new brother, Kobie (1 year old), a pit mix with probably some Springer in him is my guess. He had been surrendered to the shelter by his owner and put into a program where he lived in the prison with an inmate who taught him basic commands. He is a lover and a lap dog too. He was diagnosed prior to us getting him with OCD and that has taken some work to control but he is much more focused now and though we can't stop the shadow and reflection chasing completely he doesn't lick himself raw or have other abandonment issues anymore. Again you try not to think about the life they had before and how they turned out as good as they did under the circumstances but it is a hard thought to avoid. Most humans couldn’t even handle the life some of these dogs have before being rescued into loving homes.
Both of them are angels. They love laying next to you or sitting in your lap, and truly only want petting and love. I can't imagine our home without them and I already know anymore dogs will be pits because they are loyal and good, and because they have such a bad reputation I can't help but want to give them a good home. We are having a baby soon and I have no concerns about my dogs because they are so good around other children. In fact I'm looking forward to my son and Kobie walking in the house in the years to come and being covered in mud because I know the two of them will be close and getting each other into messes.
Dogs are loyal, loving, devoted to their families, and excellent judges of character, pits are no exception. I learned early on from my first dog, a golden retriever, that if my dog doesn't like you, I shouldn't like you and that has never steered me wrong. Sadly there are good and bad dogs in the world, just as there are people. You shouldn’t lump an entire breed of dog together just as you shouldn’t lump a race of people together. I’ve seen my share of mean dogs, from well known “good” breeds and from breeds that have bad reputations like pits and Rottweilers, and I’ll tell you the some dogs I’ve met are from breeds like Golden Retrievers and labs, not to mention some little dogs that try to bite anyone walking by them even children, and why are these dogs aggressive? They’re aggressive because their owners trained them to be or they allowed them to be. If you have a small child and they bite other children you don’t blame the other children, you tell yours to stop, but if you don’t and you allow them to bite they will continue to become more and more aggressive. I never blame a mean dog, I blame their adoptive parents.

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